These citrus braised lamb shanks are served with a spicy green harissa. They’re cooked until falling off the bone tender and served with the sweet and tangy citrus juices.
Shank. A word that either conjures up visions of striped uniforms and shady bathroom stall killings or, a deliciously impressive, cook all day kind of meal.
We’re going with the latter today.
I saw a lamb shank on the cover of some random food magazine while in Barnes and Noble a few weeks back (because my husband acts like it’s 2001 and we still have to actually GO to bookstores to buy books.
Granted this is the same man that said to me two days ago, “I just don’t GET what a hashtag is” so it’s not too surprising really) and that hunk of meat has stayed in my brain ever since.
Here’s the thing, I never cooked a lamb shank before this meal (although I’ve since changed that and this apple cider braised lamb shanks has become one of my absolute favorite weekend meals!).
So when I got to the grocery store and saw them looking nothing like they do in this picture, I for sure thought it wasn’t the right cut. I came *this close* to asking the butcher why the bone wasn’t sticking out so pretty like a perfect little caveman handle and if he could “fix” that for me but ended up chickening out and walking away.
So, I went home and watched YouTube videos instead. Convinced I had to “French” these shanks, I googled “how to french trim a lamb shank” and watched some weirdo long haired teenager hacking away at the bone for about 3 minutes.
Not convinced that was the way to do it, I played around with different phrase combinations for about an hour before finally figuring out you really don’t have to do anything to the shank after all.
Apparently, the meat kind of recedes up the bone as it cooks and creates the dramatic lollipop effect every cooked shank has. Well, who the heck knew?
Without any fuss, after 3 hours or so of cooking, these citrus braised lamb shanks look like this, no bone hacking required.
Since it’s still cold as heck and dark by 5 in these parts, there’s really nothing I enjoy doing more these days than cooking something comforting and hearty for hours during the day.
Between the smell that fills up the whole house, the heat from the oven and the warm meal when it’s all finished, it’s just perfectly fitting for this time of year.
Although super comforting, this lamb is about as bright tasting as winter meals can get. There’s citrus zest, juice and even Nakano citrus seasoned rice vinegar in this which makes it sweet and tangy all at the same time. No heavy sauces here, this is actually a really fresh and healthy meal.
The green harissa is definitely optional but there’s something about the combination of citrus from the lamb and the vibrant cilantro and spice flavor that come through in the harissa that just mesh perfectly in this dish.
It’s like winter meets the verrrrry beginnings of spring and I’ll gladly eat up for that!
Love this Citrus Braised Lamb Shank Recipe?
For the Lamb Shanks:
For the Green Harissa
For the lamb shanks
For the green harissa
Cilantro mango wild rice salad
Sea salt and vinegar beet chips
Grilled scallop citrus ceviche
Spicy rosemary tomato peach chutney
Turkey and sage stuffed apples
Brussels sprouts pumpkin and apple hash
Winter chopped kale salad
Beef and mushroom bolognese